Sindhi Chicken Biryani
Deliciously aromatic is how I would describe this dish. This Biryani is quite different from the ones I usually make. The base recipe was on the back of the Sindhi Biryani packet that I used, but I've tweaked a few proportions to my liking. Sindhi Biryani masala contains dried plums. I made Sindhi Biryani for the first time and the plums in the masala took the Biryani to a different high from the regular Biryani. Even my ever fussy Grumpy Tomcat [read: husband ;-) ] loved the flavor it imparted to the dish. If you have Sindhi Biryani masala available in your part of the world, do give this a try.
10 tablespoons oil
2 one inch pieces of cinnamon
5 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1 kilo chicken, cut into 10-12 pieces
5 large tomatoes, grated
5 green chilies, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
5 tablespoons Sindhi Biryani masala (I used Zaiqa brand)
Salt, to taste
450 grams basmati rice
1 inch piece cinnamon
1/3rd teaspoon black cumin/shahjeera
2 pinches saffron
¼ cup hot milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, sliced and fried golden brown, for garnish
- Steep saffron in hot milk. Cover and keep aside.
- Heat oil; add 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 2 pieces of cinnamon and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add the onions and fry till golden brown.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté.
- Add green chilies, turmeric powder, Sindhi Biryani masala, salt and sauté.
- Add tomatoes and sauté till oil separates.
- Add chicken pieces and sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Lower heat and cook chicken, covered till 80% done. (You will not need to add any water as because the chicken is covered and cooked on low heat the gravy and the moisture from the chicken will be enough to cook the bird)
- Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 20-30 minutes. Drain.
- Heat a large vessel with water. Add 1 clove, I cardamom, I cinnamon, black cumin, salt and bring to a rapid boil.
- Add the drained rice and par-boil till 80% done. Drain the rice in a sieve.
- Layer the chicken and the gravy in a vessel. Cover with the par-boiled rice.
- Spoon over the saffron and the saffron milk over the rice.
- Add a few blobs of butter over the rice. Garnish with fried onions.
- Cover the vessel tightly with a lid. (Make dough with regular plain flour and sealed the entire edge of vessel and lid to ensure it doesn’t lose any of it’s flavor while cooking on low heat / cooking on ‘dum’)
- Cook this on very low heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the dough from the lid edge.
- Serve Biryani with plain yogurt or yogurt raita.
- If Zaiqa spices are not available to you feel free to use any brand of Sindhi Biryani masala. If you do wish to procure Zaiqa spices visit their Face book page ‘Zaiqa The Spice Store’ and message Anisa Arif for the same.
- For those of you who don’t know, cooking on ‘dum’ means sealing the edges of the vessel with dough to ensure the steam doesn’t escape and it also helps retain the flavor of the dish. Cooking on ‘dum’ is always done on very low heat.
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